Monday, June 5, 2017

BOOK DEAL SECRET #1: Take Responsibility for Your Career




Most of us dream about getting a book deal with a major publishing house. I've had two book deals with Simon & Schuster/Atria and MacMillan/St. Martin's Press, and I was really surprised by how different the reality was from my lifelong fantasies. That's why I've shared the whole process, step by step, in BOOK DEAL SECRETS: How To Succeed With New York Publishers, An Insider's Guide For Authors.


Here's the most important  BOOK DEAL SECRET of all:


#1 Take Responsibility For Your Career!





Before I got my first book deal, I thought the process of getting published would be streamlined and simple. You hand your manuscript over to somebody else and presto! A few months later, you get a launch party and your book is plastered across shelves all over the world. But it doesn’t happen that way. 

Remember from the last post the four stages of a book's life from Selection to Promotion. There are a lot of steps involved in each stage of the process. It takes about eighteen months from signing the contract until your book hits the shelves and there are a lot of other people involved along the way. 

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen!
You might make them. Others might make them. But you can’t afford mistakes, because most new authors don’t sign multi-book deals. This means you’re only going to get one chance to make your first book succeed. 

When it works out, a traditional publisher can do so much for your career. But you have to earn that support first. If your first book doesn’t sell, you can’t expect your publisher – no matter how wonderful and established – to stick with you. This is a sink or swim business. So you have to be strong. You have to be smart.

And you have to know how to swim! 

That’s why it’s so important for every writer to take responsibility for his or her own career. The good old days of lounging around waiting for inspiration to strike, while everyone else does the dirty work, are over – if they ever existed at all!

As authors, we must learn to fend for ourselves. The sooner we embrace that fact, the more easily we can settle into productive routines and not be held hostage by our emotions or unrealistic expectations. 

But this isn’t bad news!

I know from experience you’ll be a more successful writer – and a much happier person – if you take responsibility for your own career.


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